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Notice board: Advent and the year ahead

26 October 2018


RICHARD ROHR OFM’s daily meditations, usually adapted from this American Franciscan’s previous writings, have been emailed to recipients around the world by the Center for Action and Contemplation since 2008. The book A Spring Within Us: A year of daily meditations is a substantial hardback first published in the US in 2016, and based on his daily meditations for 2014, when the general theme was finding one’s true self or authentic identity, which lies in God, our Source. The author has heavily revised them in the light of further experience (SPCK, £19.99 (£18); 978-0-281-08021-2).

Genevieve Glen OSB’s Daily Reflections for Advent and Christmas: Waiting in joyful hope 2018-19 (Liturgical Press, £1.99 (£1.80); 978-0-8146-4510-9) is, in contrast, a very small paperback that could be slipped easily into a pocket, and for each day offers references to Bible readings; a verse or two of scripture printed out; a reflection; a meditation; and a very short prayer or Marian invocation. The author calls it “the season of the gift anticipated, celebrated, and passed on” — although God’s gift to us might not come on time, or be the gift that we expected.

On a similar scale, but making for a slightly bulkier pocket, is Waiting in Joy: An Advent journey by John Scally, who lectures in theology at Trinity College, Dublin, and is a writer and broadcaster. It provides one or more verses of scripture for each day, with a reflection and a prayer. This recognises “how much we can learn from Mary, the mother of Jesus”, but does not presuppose a Marian spirituality, as the preceding title does (Messenger Publications, £3.95; 978-1-78812-009-8).

In the same print format and from the same publisher, but based on Pope Francis’s “green” encyclical, is Finding God in a Leaf: The mysticism of Laudato Si’: A month of reflections by Brian Grogan SJ (£3.95; 978-1-78812-004-3). It can be read without the encyclical to hand: the author quotes from it in the course of each reflection, which are gathered into two parts: “The Doors of Perception” and “Repair My House!”

Sacred Space: The prayerbook 2019, by the Irish Jesuits, is a nearly 400-page paperback adapted from their popular website. The reader will need the text of the day’s Gospel reading (references given only), on which the reflection is based, followed by two “blob” paragraphs, one of which may be a question, a prayer, or something else to ponder. There is in addition “something to think and pray about” weekly (Messenger Publications, £11.95; 978-1-78812-005-0).

Martin Hogan, a priest in the RC archdiocese of Dublin, has written I Want to Know Christ: Weekday reflections for liturgical year 2018/2019 (Messenger Publications, £12.95; 978-1-78812-0081). Each reflection is several hundred words on one of the liturgical readings of the day (reference given).

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